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How is parenting time divided if my child is still a baby?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2023 | Child Custody

Child custody matters are essential topics in divorce proceedings. Typically, one of the parents becomes the child’s primary caregiver, and the court helps determine parenting time for the other party.

These arrangements might be straightforward, but certain cases could be complicated based on the child’s age. The court also considers developmental factors, especially if the child is a baby.

This period is a fragile time in the child’s life, and the court must identify the appropriate parenting time setup to minimize disruption and give space for the child’s growth. In Indiana, the court usually considers the following factors specific to parenting time for infants:

  • Both parents’ involvement: One parent must serve as the primary carer, but both parents’ presence is necessary for the child’s cognitive, social and emotional development. Exposing the child to their parenting styles and building bonds is also critical, so parents must be flexible.
  • Frequency and duration: Infants are still developing their sense of time. They also have limited capabilities to remember people who are not always with them. Because of these elements, the court suggests short but frequent visits for the noncustodial parent. Visitation could happen every day, depending on their schedules. However, the rule of thumb is the parent must maintain a maximum two-day interval between visits.
  • Overnight parenting time: The court encourages these opportunities but must adhere to specific regulations to maintain the child’s nighttime routines. Sudden changes in daily activities might frighten the child or make them uncomfortable.
  • Sustainability of care: The parents should sustain the level of care even after the divorce.

Still, arrangements could vary based on the family’s circumstances.

What is the standard parenting time for babies?

The court determined the minimum parenting time for infants should include three days per week, lasting around two hours at a time. Judges generally believe parents should also make time during holidays and have overnight visits regularly. Additionally, parents could adjust by revisiting parenting time arrangements as the baby grows up.